When 95% of beer is water, and clean water is essential for good-tasting beer, it makes sense that breweries are doing everything they can to ensure that the water they use is clean. And that means supporting and advocating for forests.
The connection between forests and water and beer is obvious to Imbib Breweing here in Reno, Nevada. We met up with co-founders Jason Green and Matt Johnson to talk about their brewery and how they're supporting healthy forests.
nature.org: Tell us a little detail about Imbib brewery and its history.
Imbib: Our brewery has been operating in Reno, NV for 3.5 years. We (co-founders Jason Green and Matt Johnson) are formerly homebrewers who decided to take professional leap after seeing some gaps in the local market. We focus on old-world barrel-aging techniques for many of our beers which takes time and also introduces “wild” elements to the beers. We embrace bacteria in our brewery and create a variety of sour and wild ales using unique yeast and bacteria strains. We also produce many other styles including traditional Belgian and German beers as well as IPA’s and other American styles.
nature.org: What’s special about Reno—why do you choose to do your brewing here?
Imbib: Reno is a special town on the edge of the Sierras where a diverse population supports outdoor recreation, hunting, fishing, and much more. We have lived in Nevada for most of our lives and appreciate the special watershed that we are part of. Our town is growing with a new influx of technology companies and local business owners and we are proud to be part of a wave of entrepreneur’s who are committed to building community and welcoming visitors to our lovely town.
nature.org: Where does Imbib brewery get the water you use to make beer?
Imbib: We are lucky to brew with water coming from Lake Tahoe and the Truckee River watershed and we believe the water creates a unique flavor profile so we rarely treat it other than filtering out chlorine.
nature.org: Do your operations include any sustainable practices?
Imbib: We recapture much of the water used in our brewing operations and have actually reduced our water consumption since scaling up from brewing 90-gallons at a time to 350-gallons at a time.
nature.org: Tell us about how water figures into your production process? Why is clean water important for brewing beer?
Imbib: Water is one of the four main ingredients in brewing and it makes up the bulk of any recipe, thus you cannot have good beer without good water. Having access to clean water is critical to the survival of our company as the quality of beer will go down with the quality of water. It’s critical that we support continued stewardship of our watershed to ensure that those who eat, drink, and recreate in our community have quality products and have access to healthy watersheds.
nature.org: You’re partnering with TNC for OktoberForest to raise awareness about the connection between healthy forests and clean water. Why else should people care about forests?
Imbib: For us it is fairly simple. We grew up in this place and have had the opportunity to recreate, hunt, and fish all over the state. Healthy forests are necessary for us to all continue living in this region in a sustainable way and as our population grows the need for continuing to support healthy forests increases. People who come to our town come for many reasons, but we believe that good beer and healthy forests are connected and thus we support many efforts to be stewards of our lands.